Racial stereotypes affect Latino students' school success, study finds

January 12, 2011

According to a University of Toronto study, Latino teenagers, whose 40% dropout rate is among the highest in Toronto, say they suffer in school because of racial stereotypes -- held by both classmates and teachers -- that they are poor, lazy, and criminal. In interviews and focus groups, 60 high school students told researchers they did not have the ESL support they needed, and that Spanish-speaking supports were scarce. They listed stereotypes perpetuated by their peers and occasionally teachers, such as an assumption that all Spanish speakers are poor and Mexican. The study's recommendations include that the Toronto District School Board offer a student guide in Spanish, encourage part-time job opportunities that do not interfere with school success, and develop courses in Latin American history and culture. Globe and Mail | ParentCentral.ca